Quickly grabbing twenty minutes to do some more ivy removal on Sunday, I really thought I was breaking through and making some ground yankign away huge chunks of canopy.
All of a sudden, a wee robin - suerly the most precocious of garden birds, was flitting from branch to brand only a foot or so from my head.
Whilst it is lovely to look at a living animal only inches from your face, and can see not only the softness of living feathers but the swift palpitations of the heart beneath (luckily, this doesn't happen too often as a result of trying to rescue birds from our stupid cats), there is a reason why it is standing there, probably very scared, but basically telling you to piss off.
Sigh. Cue researching Robins on the RSPB website.
Breeding: Likes woodlands, parks and gardens with plenty of undergrowth.
Wintering: Similar to breeding habitats
I've written to our friendly RSPB'rs to ask them if we are now in to the breeding season, although I think I'm clutching at straws really. Do I want to destroy the nest of a lovely wee birdy just before it (possibly) lays some eggs? On the other hand, should I really be encouraging a lovely wee birdy to lay eggs in the now not-quite-so-undergrowth of a garden where at least 4 cats that I know, including our own, regularly go to piss and fight?
The perils of trying to do the right thing: temporarily piss off a lovely robin to the detriment of the already dying trees, or help trees and possibly destroy a nest. Ugh, can you imagine if the nest had chicks in it and I was responsible for killing them? I think I'd beat myself up hourly for several months.
When I was young (in another website, this would have been an "Aside" - aha, no longer), a defining moment in life came when Moses (RIP) brought a sparrow in to the house and I managed to kick him back into the garden, leaving the bird struggling on the floor. The sparrow, left on the floor was horrendously broken, but alive. It's head was turned 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Being very young and not really knowing what the hell to do, I gently rotated the animal's head so at least it was facing the right way. It promptly coughed up blood on to my hand, and expired.
Its tiny body had been in such a state of shock in my hand, its heart pumping was almost indistiguishable it was so fast. But my God, when it died, it felt different immediately. I was left holding this lifeless innocent, with my own heart apparently breaking in to several thousand pieces in my chest.
That night, bizarrely, was also the first night I ever saw one of the best live bands that has ever existed, "Pixies", live. I enjoyed the gig beyond measure, and there it was, a day of intense high and awful low.
So that's one good reason why I won't be disturbing our friend the robin.